There is much more to a crime and nuisance free neighborhood than increasing police patrols and throwing people in jail - though law enforcement does play the key role.
But just as critical is a neighborhood's appearance. If the properties are well kept, if people care enough to pick up the litter in front of their homes and better yet, don't toss it in the street in the first place, a message is sent that the tenants and homeowners care about their neighborhood. A lot of the nuisance activity will move off that block. It may only move a block away, but the point is, it moves.
Another benefit is that rentals, necessary for a well-rounded community, will be able to attract a higher quality of tenant if the neighborhood is clean, and the house or apartment is neat, clean and respectable.
I am trying to garner support for several projects towards this end. One is an adopt-a-street program for Center City. I would like the churches in center city, and there are plenty of them, to step up to the plate and adopt a one-block section of street.
I have city commissioner Dale Finch's word that he will work with me on this project, and it appears that Ed Eihnaus of AHOME, coordinator of the Heart of Millville Project, will assume responsibility and a leadership role, also.
The idea is that we get a group of volunteers to attack a block. We have neighborhood children picking up the trash. We have adults with weed whackers and edgers cutting the grass along the sidewalks, edging the sidewalks, and removing the grass from between the sidewalk cracks and curbs.
Now we will give that section to the adopting group, the church of whatever, or a boyscout troop, or a social club - I don't care who. They will then pledge to walk that section at least once a week and clean, cut, edge - whatever they have to, to maintain it.